3. The Writing Process
Writing is a process of communicating thoughts and ideas from the writer to the reader. This process involves two skills sets. One is the thinking/creativity skill. The other involves the small motor skills involved in using a pen or pencil or typing on a keyboard. The two skills are interconnected in many ways that researchers who study the operations of the brain do not fully understand.
One of the reasons people have trouble with writing is that the process is somewhat mysterious. We do not know where the ideas come from. We are often led astray from the topic by free-flowing words. Or, the supply seems to dry up suddenly and our minds go blank.
Small Motor Skills
1. Pen or Pencil
Adults who are not accustomed to writing might not have developed the fine motor skills in their hands and fingers to accomplish the physical act of writing. Their penmanship may be extremely poor. You will need to encourage your learner to practice handling a writing instrument. Some students may need practice copying and writing smaller letters in anticipation of filling out applications; others may be ready to practice cursive writing. Some never learn to use cursive writing but print all of their written communication.
Optional activities (Click here to learn more about small motor skills.)
If your learner has trouble writing, whether it is coming up with ideas or putting pen to paper, you may want to try putting her in front of a keyboard.
- requires different small motor skills and different neural paths from putting pen to paper
- frees up writers who can only stare at an empty piece of paper
- works particularly well with learners who experience learning difficulties or disabilities.
With adults completely unaccustomed to the keyboard, the tutor can act as scribe, typing the learner's words and ideas. As the learner becomes more familiar using the keyboard, she can take over the physical act of typing her own stories.
Optional activities (Click here to learn more about keyboarding.)